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Klasnic hopes to start for Croatia against Germany at Euro 2008

Klasnic hopes to start for Croatia against Germany at Euro 2008

Ivan Klasnic, the first player ever to take part at the European Championship after a kidney transplant, hopes to start Croatia's game against Germany on Thursday.
"I'm here to play and I'm 100 percent ready," the 28-year-old forward said Tuesday. "I didn't come here to be a fan, I came here to play."
In January 2007, the German-born Klasnic suffered a kidney failure. Shortly afterward, he received a transplant, but his body rejected the kidney donated by his mother. A couple of months later, he underwent another surgery to replace the rejected kidney. This time receiving a kidney from his father.
Only nine months later, Klasnic had an emotional return to action in the Bundesliga with his club Werder Bremen.
"I never thought I would be at the Euro," Klasnic said. "My first concerns were my health and return to playing football. Playing at the Euro is just a bonus."
Now, Klasnic said he hoped to win the confidence of coach Slaven Bilic and start in the match against Germany, especially as Croatia starting forward Mladen Petric had a poor game in Croatia's 1-0 win over co-host Austria in the opening match.
But, Bilic remained noncommittal.
"It is great to have such a good striker in the team," Bilic said. "He is one of our five forwards in the squad, and we are counting on him at the championships."


Updated : 2021-04-19 02:55 GMT+08:00